Minor League Report.

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AAA: SWB rained out

AA: Trenton rained out.

High A: Tampa (63-71) split a DH.

Reg. sched. game: Lost 4-0, getting just 2 hits. SS Diego Castillo’s 3 errors led to 3 unearned runs.

Makeup of 8/27 rainout: Won 5-3. Castillo 2 hits, RBI. 1B Steven Sensley 2 hits, 2 RBI.

Low A: Charleston (69-66) lost 8-5. LF Canaan Smith 2 hits, .306. RF Josh Stowers 2 RBI. C Eduardo Navas 3 hits, 2 RBI. 2 solo HR.

 

Prospects heading for the Arizona Fall League.

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From MLB.com

Yankees (Surprise): Daniel Bies, RHP; Glenn Otto, RHP; Donny Sands, C; Josh Stowers, OF; Brandon Wagner, 1B

Acquired from the Mariners in an offshoot of the Sonny Gray trade in January, Stowers has a chance to have four average or better tools, with his arm the lone exception. Otto has had difficulty staying healthy but can reach 97 mph and devastate hitters with his curveball when he’s at 100 percent.

Looking back at the Yanks 2020 and looking ahead.

It’s hard enough to do a report card on a 60 game season. Harder still to predict the offseason and what the Yankees might do. I mean, when teams don’t get income from fans in the stands, concessions, parking, etc., who knows what money a team has or doesn’t have to spend this offseason?

And who knows what 2021 brings? Will Covid be gone? Will we have another shortened season without fans?

But here goes …. The best I can.

Catching

Sanchez F. How could you not give him this grade? .147?! Right now, the Yankees’ biggest issue/headache. 23 hits of which 10 were HR. It’s amazing how far he dropped. From All-Star (34 HR last year) to this. .186 two years ago. .147 in 2020. He dropped so much so that he lost his job to Higashioka in the postseason. Yes, Realmuto is a free agent, but how much $ for Realmuto? And what do you do with Sanchez? The Yanks did draft, in the first and second rounds, a few catchers in the past few years but their development has been slowed by no minor leagues this year. And they were many years away to start out with. Trade Sanchez, make him backup? He is a big headache right now.

Higashioka B. Did Ok. But can he become a regular? He isn’t known for his bat, despite that 3 HR game he had. But he was so much better than Sanchez indicating how far Sanchez dropped off. Seems to call a game better than Sanchez. Good defense.

Kratz A. Didn’t play much but performed well when he did. Helped in the development of Deivi Garcia. I can see Kratz being a coach or manager in the future. Maybe even make him (40) one next year?

Infield

Here is where there is a possible problem. Offensively, the Yanks are set with Voit, LeMahieu, Torres and Urshela. But….

LeMahieu is a free agent. The Yanks need to bring him back.

Torres had an off year and hasn’t convinced anyone he can handle SS.

Both Mark Teixeira and Joel Sherman (among others) have advocated the Yankees trade MLB HR leader Luke Voit to get more pitching…. And to bring back Didi Gregorius for SS, with Torres moving back to 2B and LeMahieu at 1B. That would improve the infield defense, and also help balance out the predominantly righty hitting Yankees lineup. But it is hard to trade a guy who led the majors in HR. Not to mention, Voit is a popular Yankee.

Voit A. Led team in HR and RBI. Trading him would hurt. Suffered foot injury at the end of the year. Not speedy on bases, defense so-so. But that bat…

LeMahieu A. Best player on team again. Versatile. 1st player in modern era (since 1920) to win batting titles in both leagues. .364. Yanks need more contact hitters like him, less all or nothing guys. Put the ball in play.

Torres C. Disappointing year. Only .243 with 3 HR. Stepped up in playoffs, where he has done well. Hopefully the real Gleyber comes back in 2021.

Urshela A. Clutch hits, proving 2019 wasn’t a fluke. Great glove. Has made Miguel Andujar an afterthought. I think the Yanks should see what they can get for Andujar, because he is blocked everywhere. 3B by Urshela. 1B by Voit, LeMahieu and/or Ford, OF by Frazier, Judge, Tauchman, Gardner or whoever is out there.

Wade C. His versatility and speed are plusses. But when will he (.170) ever hit?

Ford F. After a promising 2019, only hit .135 in 2020. His lefty bat could help balance the lineup, but where could he play? Blocked by Voit or LeMahieu. Stanton stuck as full-time DH limits versatility. Bench player.

Estrada F. Took a step backwards, when it appeared he could pass Wade on the depth chart. .167.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Yanks do with LeMahieu (free agent) and Voit. The Yankees defense was their worst in many, many years. And with Didi out there as a free agent….

Outfield

Frazier B. The Yankees have to decide what to do with him. I think it’s time to give him the LF job and see if he can run with it.

Gardner C. The .223 was disappointing. Still good defensively, and the Yanks may want to keep him as Frazier’s defensive caddy and for his clubhouse presence. But at 37, Gardner should not be an everyday player anymore. Start Frazier, sub Gardy in for defense if necessary. But if you don’t want to bring Gardy back, you still have

Tauchman D. Good defensively, can also be Frazier’s defensive caddy. But took step backward. Where did his power go? Zero HR. The Yanks need his lefty bat to show/produce pop, especially if giving Frazier or Hicks or even Judge a day off, and to balance out the lineup.  Led team in steals with six.

Judge B. Started the season hot, then got hurt. Needs to stay healthy.

Stanton. B Strictly a DH now. Showed in postseason what he can do if healthy. Needs to stay healthy. But him at full time DH limits Yankees elsewhere. And his salary (and Cole’s, Chapman’s) limits flexibility too.

Hicks B. Lousy average.225 offset by him leading team in walks. Good D.  

Pitching.

Cole A  Ace of staff. Prone to the HR ball.  But 7-3, 2.84 all you asked for.

Tanaka B. Lousy postseason but 3.56 decent regular season. A free agent. Yankees should bring him back at reduced price. Not an ace or #2 anymore, but a good #3 or 4.

Happ. B. Lousy start. Lousy finish. Good in between. But a free agent, 37, and Yankees should not bring him back. Had issues with management.

Montgomery D. 5.11 ERA coming back from TJ surgery. Hopefully better next year with more time from the surgery. Nice start when Yankees needed in postseason

German X. Will he be back next year? That is a question mark. If so, how will he be after layoff? If Yanks can get the 18-4, 4.03 from 2019, or close to it, it would be a big help. Even something halfway decent until…

Severino. A ? for next year. Should be back around July but after so much time off, can he come back as a #2. Yanks may need to make a deal (Andujar, Voit) or sign a free agent like Trevor Bauer (who likes one year deals).

Garcia B. 3-2, 4.98 doesn’t look great, but kid is just 21. Hope he blossoms. Shows poise. A wild card for 2021.

Paxton F. Back surgery, then 6.64 ERA and forearm strain at the end of the year. I don’t bring him back (free agent). Why bring back someone as a free agent who is always hurt and has a forearm strain (which could be precursor to TJ problems?) It’d be like buying a car you know or suspect is a lemon.

Britton A. Filled in as closer when Chapman out with Covid. Did great job. 1.89 ERA

Chapman B. Decent in regular season but spit the bit in playoffs, giving up season-ending HR for second year in row. Have to wonder if he has what it takes for postseason. Also gave up big postseason HR in 2016 for Cubs. But Yanks stuck with certain contracts (Cole, Chapman, Stanton).

Green B.

Ottavino F. 5.89 ERA. Stunk in 2019 postseason. Bad 2020. Yanks had no faith in him this postseason. Need to unload him. Loss of Kahnle hurt. And Kahnle out all 2021 probably.

Holder C.

Cessa B.

Loaisiga B. Seems capable of so much more. A tease. Disappointed in postseason.

Nelson C. Kid shows some promise. Maybe replacement for Ottavino?

King F. Missing that year of AAA hurt. 7.76 ERA. Hope learns from experience.

Yajure A. Impressed in short stint. Just 22. Yanks should consider him as Kahnle’s sub in 2021.

Kriske F

Avilan C.

Schmidt F. Like King, could have used AAA time. See what he can do in 2021.

Heller B.

Yanks need to look at their pitching. Some kids look like they can really help in 2021 (Garcia and Yajure), others seem to need more minor league time that they couldn’t get (COVID) in 2020.

But they need a solid #2 behind Cole. Paxton didn’t provide that in 2020. Tanaka is more a #3 or #4 now. Happ’s inconsistency hurt. Severino would have been #2 but for TJ surgery and he isn’t back until July or so next year and how good will he be? Hence a trade for a #2 or to sign Bauer.

Bauer does have issues. He’s not the most likable guy, and you do wonder how his personality would play out. He was 5-4, 1.73 (led NL) for the Reds this year. There are rumors that he and Cole (college teammates) don’t get along.

Boone and Cashman C. I like both, but that Game 2 ALDS using Garcia as opener sinks them here. I didn’t like it when it happened and will rue it forever. I can’t fault Cashman for not making a deal at the trade deadline. With expanded playoffs and shortened season, more teams were in the hunt. Plus, he did have guys about to come off the DL. And there weren’t many deals to be had. Cashman will really make his mark this offseason. Here’s where we see what he does. But that Game 2 switcheroo from Garcia to Happ. Ugh.

Coaching C. They got a new pitching coach. Not too impressed with him, yet. I wish they would have given that job to David Cone (I am pretty sure Cone wouldn’t have pulled that Game 2 crap). Apparently hitting coach Marcus Thames is being looked at for a managerial position, but Thames couldn’t fix Sanchez or Torres this season. The failure to fix Sanchez looms large here.  And the new catching coach didn’t help out Sanchez much either.

Ok, got this done. I’ve been busy and whipped this off quickly. If I forgot something, sorry. Add on. Maybe I forgot a point here or there.   

Boone back, German may not be.

In a recent interview, Hal Steinbrenner mentioned that Aaron Boone would be back as Yankees’ manager in 2021, but he refused to commit on Domingo German’s return.

I apologize for not getting my Yankees’ grades and recommendations for the offseason out yet. I am dealing with my mom’s (passed away in July) estate and we thought we had a buyer for her house but that fell through last night. So I am dealing with a lot right now. I’ll get my thoughts up when I get time, but between mandatory OT at work and the estate, my time is very limited right now. Bear with me.

I have not been able to watch too much baseball since the Yanks were eliminated. Mostly due to the reasons I listed. The Rays are up 3 games to none on Houston (and Jose Altuve seems to have caught Steve Sax disease) while Atlanta has won both of the first two games from the Dodgers.

HOF 2B Joe Morgan dies at age 77.

Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford….

and now Joe Morgan.

Morgan becomes the sixth Hall of Famer to pass away this year. He was 77 years old.

Morgan is ranked the 4th best second baseman of all time on Baseball-References’ JAWS comparison, and #1 among any second basemen whose career began after 1920 (the three listed above Morgan are Rogers Hornsby, Napoleon Lajoie and Eddie Collins).

Morgan played for the Colt .45/Astros 1963-1971 (very few games 1963 and 1964, missed almost all of 1968 with an injury), Reds 1972-1979, Astros again 1980, Giants 1981-1982, Phillies 1983 and A’s 1984.

A 10x All-Star, he was a 5x Gold Glove winner. 2x WS Champion, played in the postseason 7x, 4x in the WS.

He won back-to-back MVPs in 1975 and 1976—-the only second baseman to do so.

Runnerup for ROY in 1965.

He got MVP consideration 7x, and 5x (all in a row) he was top 10 for MVP.

1972, 4th
1973, 4th
1974, 8th
1975, 1st .327-17-94, 67 SB; led MLB in walks, OBP, OPS, OPS+
1976, 1st. .320-27-111, 60 SB; Led MLB in OBP, SA, OPS, OPS+, SF

He led MLB in runs scored once, triples once. Led league in walks 4x (MLB 3x). 4x OBP (MLB 2x). SA led MLB 1x. Led MLB in OPS 2x. Led MLB in OPS+ 2x.

His 162 game average was .271-16-69, 42 SB, 114 walks, OPS+ 132 (32% above league average).

He had 268 HR, 689 SB in his career. Good pop for a little guy (5’7″).

In fifty postseason games, he hit .182-5-13, stole 15 bases. Had GW hit in Game 7 of the 1975 WS.

A first ballot Hall-of-Famer, with 81.8% (75% needed) in 1990.

After his playing days were over, was a long-time broadcaster/analyst for ESPN games.

#16. Whitey Ford. 1928-2020.

Yesterday morning, the sad news came that the greatest pitcher in Yankees’ history, Whitey Ford, passed away Thursday evening. Ford was 13 days short of his 92nd birthday.

Ford pitched for the Yanks in 1950 (when he wore #19), then 1953-1967 (wearing the now retired #16). He missed 1951 and 1952 due to Army service during the Korean Conflict.

Ford is the all-time Yankees’ leader in wins (Pettitte had more overall wins, but Andy spent three years in Houston, so his Yankees’ total is less than Ford’s), innings pitched, shutouts (45). He and Pettitte are tied for most starts by a Yankees’ pitcher.

Ford has the highest winning percentage for any pitcher post-1900 who had 200 or more wins (Clayton Kershaw is higher right now, but with 175 wins).

Ford was a 10x All-Star who pitched for 11 AL Pennant winners and 6 World Champions. He has World Series records for most wins (10), losses (8), games started (22), and once threw 33 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in WS play.

With expanded playoffs, and more chances to get knocked out of those playoffs before reaching the World Series, his WS records for wins, losses and games started may stand forever.

He led the league in wins 3x (1955, 1961, 1963) MLB in 1961
25 wins 1961, 24 in 1963
Led league in winning percentage 1956, 1961, 1963 (MLB 1961)
Led all of MLB in ERA 1956, 1958
Led league in Games started 1961, 1963 (MLB 1961)
Led league in complete games 1955 with 18
Led league in shutouts 1958, 1960 (MLB 1958)
Led league in innings pitched 1961, 1963 (MLB 1961)
Led MLB in ERA+ 1958

Won CYA 1961 when only one award was given for all of MLB (25-4, 3.21). Of course, his great 1961 season was overshadowed by his teammates, Maris and Mantle in their HR chase.

1961 World Series MVP.

Besides 1961 CYA, finished 3rd in 1956 and 3rd in 1963.

Got MVP consideration 9x, finished 5th in 1961 (Maris) and 3rd in 1963 (Howard). Two top-five MVP years for a pitcher is something.

236-106, ERA 2.75. ERA+ 133 (33% above league average for time he pitched).

162 game average 17-8, 2.75.

10-8 in 22 World Series starts. 2.71 ERA

As a hitter, hit .173 with 3 HR. 4 for 49 in WS play.

He was a second ballot Hall-of-Famer, getting 67% his first year but 77.8% (75% needed) his second year. In a way it was nice because with his 1974 induction, he went in at the same time as teammate Mickey Mantle.


ALDS Game 5. Yankees eliminated in 2-1 loss.

The Yankees season is over after a 2-1 loss in Game 5. The Rays advance to the ALCS to face the Astros.

I’ll have a review of the season, players, and an analysis of things that I think need to be done in another upcoming article. Some things about this game may give a bit of a preview.

There were only six hits total in this game. Three by each side. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they hit one HR while Tampa Bay hit two.

I have to really question future commitments to Aroldis Chapman. You have to now wonder about him in big moments. He almost blew the 2016 WS for the Cubs, giving up a shocking game-tying HR in Game 7 of that WS before the Cubs came back to win.

Now he has blown the 2019 ALCS and the 2020 ALDS by giving up game-winning HRs that ended the Yankees’ season both times.

Not only that, but his attitude seems to be a problem as well. That macho posturing is getting tiresome, and karma may have just bit him in the ass last night.

Chapman is no Rivera, in a lot of ways.

Chapman is appealing a suspension (won’t take place until 2021) from throwing up and in and seemingly at Mike Brosseau of the Rays in an early September game this year. So who hits the game-winning HR off of Chapman? Brosseau. It had to be sweet revenge for Brosseau.

Chapman’s contract is huge. It would be hard getting rid of it, and I wonder if the Yankees even want to or should. But two straight years of Chapman giving up season-ending dingers, plus his seeming immaturity, make you wonder.

Gerrit Cole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, then settled down.

The Yankees’ only run of the game came when Aaron Judge sliced a HR to RF in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Austin Meadows hit a game-tying HR that Judge, the Yankees, and their fans will be shaking their heads about for years to come. For whatever reason, RF at the neutral site, Petco Park in San Diego, has a ledge extending over the RF wall. If not for that ledge (which Judge hit his head on while attempting to catch the ball), the 6’7″ Judge had a good shot to catch the ball and rob Meadows of a HR. We will never know. Judge thought he had a bead on it.

In the bottom of the sixth, Brett Gardner, in LF, DID rob Randy Arozareana of a HR. No ledge in LF

Cole was a bulldog, giving up only that one hit, but it was a HR.

Neither team mustered much offense.

Then the bottom of the eighth, when karma bit Chapman in the ass and for the second year in a row, he gave up a HR (albeit, not a walk-off as in 2019) that ended the Yankees’ season.

If you would have told me that Yankees’ pitchers would give up just 3 hits, and get 13 strikeouts, I’d have taken it.

What we didn’t know was that Yankees’ hitters would get only 3 hits and strike out 11x themselves.

The last out was cruel. A 109 MPH liner off the bat of Gio Urshela that was grabbed by 3B Joey Wendle. A liner that tore Wendle’s glove. Urshela (like Willie McCovey ending the 1962 WS) hit it on the screws. No luck.

Judge solo HR

Cole 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 9 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Britton 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Chapman (LOSS) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR.

Now that the Yanks lost this ALDS, that awful decision of Game 2, Garcia/Happ looks even worse. I still hate it and always will.

Speaking of immaturity (Chapman above), you also can wonder what if German were available. Last year AND this year.

A disappointing ending.

ALDS GAME 4. Yanks stay alive, force Game 5.

The Yankees stayed alive and evened up the best-of-five series at two games apiece by beating Tampa Bay 5-1 Thursday night.

Gerrit Cole will start the deciding game 5 tonight. He has never pitched on three days rest before.

The rest of the division series are over. The winner of the Yankees/Rays game tonight faces Houston in the ALCS. The NLCS features the Braves against the Dodgers.

Houston, of course, beat the Yanks in the ALCS in 2017 and 2019.

The Yanks scored twice in the second inning. Luke Voit led off the inning with a 450 ft. home run, then walks to Brett Gardner, Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela loaded the bases. After Kyle Higashioka struck out, D.J. LeMahieu hit a SF.

Tampa Bay got their only run in the top of the third.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Gardner singled and Torres followed with a two-run HR.

The Yanks added their final run in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Torres singled. After another out, he stole second and scored on a single by Higashioka.

The Yankees’ bullpen came through with five no -hit innings after a decent, if short, start by Jordan Montgomery.

LeMahieu 2 hits, RBI. Great defensive play.
Voit solo HR
Gardner 2 hits
Torres 2 hits, 2-run HR
Higashioka 2 hits, RBI

Montgomery 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 W, 4 K.
Green (WINNER) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Britton (H) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Chapman (S) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.

ALDS Game 3. Yanks’ backs against the wall after an 8-4 loss.

Too bad Giancarlo Stanton can’t pitch.

The Yankees’ slugger homered for the fifth straight postseason game, and set a record in doing so, but Yankees’ pitching failed again in an 8-4 loss to Tampa Bay.

With the loss, the Yanks are down two games to one in the best-of-five series. One more loss, either tonight or tomorrow night, and the Yankees’ season is over.

Masahiro Tanaka gave up a run in the second, but the Yanks tied it on a bases-loaded SF by Aaron Judge in the bottom of the third.

But Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR in the top of the fourth. 4-1, Rays.

Randy Arozarena, who is turning into Mr. October this month, homered off Tanaka in the top of the fifth to make it 5-1.

An Aaron Hicks RBI double in the bottom of the fifth cut the lead to 5-2.

The Yankees’ bullpen was supposed to be a strength but has been a disappointment. Chad Green gave up a 2-run HR in the top of the sixth, Luis Cessa let another run in, and it was 8-2. For all intensive purposes, the game was over.

Stanton hit his 2-run HR in the bottom of the eighth.

Stanton 2 hits, 2-run HR.

Tanaka (LOSS) 4 IP, 5 R, 8H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Green 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 k. Gave up 1 HR.
Cessa 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
King 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

A sad thing when some of the worst umpires in MLB still get postseason assignments (Bucknor, Hernandez). See Game 2.

Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yanks in Game 4. He’ll be on a short leash because of the do-or-die nature of the game.

We’ve seen the rookie Nelson twice. Chapman not at all. That’s really what you need to know. And that isn’t good.

ALDS Game 2. A decision backfires, and Yanks pitching fails in 7-5 loss. Rays even series.

I agreed with the decision to start Deivi Garcia in game 2 of this ALDS. Less pressure on the rookie (the youngest Yankee to start a postseason game), and especially less pressure after the Game 1 win.

But I was shocked when I saw that Aaron Boone only planned to use Garcia as the opener, pitching just one inning, before bringing in J.A. Happ. I didn’t like that move, and that move backfired when Happ reverted to the Happ of earlier this year and of 2019 in a 7-5 loss to Tampa Bay that evened the series at one game apiece.

Who knows if Garcia, who gave up one run (a HR) in the first inning would have settled down? Happ, a starter his whole career, isn’t used to coming out of the bullpen. I didn’t like the move, still don’t, and the results speak for themselves.

Yankees’ pitching gave up four HR last night in the loss. After getting a couple of flyouts, Garcia gave up a HR, hit a batter, then got a groundout. I don’t know what Boone’s plans are for Garcia for the rest of the series, but who knows if the kid would have settled down after that and had given you four, five or six good innings after that?

In the top of the second, a red-hot (homers in four straight postseason games) Giancarlo Stanton homered to tie the game at one.

But in came Happ, who gave up a 2-run HR in the bottom of the second, then another two-run HR in the bottom of the third and after three innings, the Yanks were in a 5-1 hole they couldn’t get out of.

We won’t know what Garcia would have done because in going the “opener” route, Garcia was never given the chance. While he was pitching and getting the first two outs, Happ was already warming up. Sometimes you just outthink yourself, and maybe Boone did that here. How are you going to inspire confidence in the kid when you do that? Boone talks about the kid’s maturity and confidence but then does that?

This is just my opinion, and I haven’t read the NY Post, MLB, ESPN or anything but I’d be interested in reading some reactions to Boone’s move on those sites. Also see what the fans think.

As or me, I didn’t like it.

So, after Boone brings in Happ, who made the deficit 5-1, Stanton tried to get the Yankees back into the game with a three-run bomb of a HR in the top of the fourth that cut the Rays’ lead to 5-4.

But the Yanks showed little offense other than Stanton. They struck out 18x, a postseason record for a 9-inning game.

One problem the Yanks have had all year is that their bullpen is letting inherited runners score, and not shutting down the inning then and there. After Adam Ottavino walked the leadoff man in in the bottom of the fifth (who then stole second), and got a groundout, Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run-scoring single before getting a DP (great play by D.J. LeMahieu) to end the inning.

Loaisiga gave up a HR in the sixth and it was 7-4.

The Yanks got a couple of walks to lead off the top of the ninth, but then two strikeouts. D.J. LeMahieu kept hope alive with an RBI single, but Aaron Judge grounded out to end the game.

Let’s hope Tanaka brings his A game tonight. At least we know he won’t be used as an “opener.”

Sanchez was 0 for 4, 3 strikeouts, PB. Maybe just stick with Higashioka?

Stanton 2 HR, 4 RBI

Garcia 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Happ (LOSS) 2 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 3 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. Made an error.
Ottavino 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Loaisiga 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Nelson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.


ALDS Game 1. Yanks hit 4 HR, take Game 1, 9-3.

Giancarlo Stanton’s ninth inning grand slam broke open a close game and the Yanks took Game 1 of the best-of-five ALDS from the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-3.

The Yanks got on the board right away in the top of the first when D.J. LeMahieu singled, went to second on a WP, to third on a groundout, and scored on a SF by Aaron Hicks.

Tampa Bay came right back in the bottom of the first on a HR by Randy Arozarena off of Yankees’ starter Gerrit Cole.

The Yanks went up 2-1 in the third on a HR by Clint Frazier.

For whatever reason, one-time Yankee Ji-Man Choi seems to own Cole. He hit a 2-run HR in the borrom of the fourth to put the Rays ahead 3-2.

The Yanks came right back in the top of the fifth. Kyle Higashioka led off the inning with a HR to tie the game, and one out later, Aaron Judge homered to put the Yanks up 4-3.

Cole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the botttom of the fifth.

It stayed 4-3 until the top of the ninth. Higashioka singled to lead off the inning, then LeMahieu walked. After an out, Hicks singled in Higashioka. Tyler Wade, who had replaced Luke Voit for defensive purposes, walked. Stanton then hit his grand slam to break the game open. The Yanks reloaded the bases but didn’t score again.

As I had hoped, Deivi Garcia will start Game 2 tonight. Less pressure on the rookie, especially after the Yanks won Game 1.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Judge solo HR
Hicks 3 hits, 2 RBI
Stanton grand slam, 4 RBI
Urshela 2 hits
Frazier solo HR
Higashioka solo HR, 2 hits

Cole (Winner) 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR
Green (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Britton (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Cessa 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.


Dodgers’ teammates Johnson, Perranoski die days apart.

Lou Johnson, an OF for the mid-1960s Dodgers teams that won the 1965 WS and the 1966 NL Pennant, died Sept. 30, age 86.

Johnson played for the Cubs (1960), Angels (1961), Braves (1962), Dodgers (1965-1967), Cubs again (1968), Indians (1968) and Angels again (1969). He finished 24th in MVP voting in 1965.

His 162 game average was .258-11-56, OPS+ 103. In 11 WS games, he was 12 for 42, .286, with 2 HR and 4 RBI. He hit .259-12-58 with 15 SB in 1965 and .272-17-73 in 1966 for the Dodgers.

His teammate, relief pitcher Ron Perranoski, passed away October 2, age 84. Perranoski pitched for the Dodgers 1961-1967, Twins 1968-1971, Tigers 1971-1972, back with the Dodgers 1972, and Angels 1973.

Perranoski was on the 1963 and 1965 WS winning Dodger teams, the 1966 NL Champs, and the AL West winning Twins of 1969 and 1970. He was 4th in MVP voting in 1963 when he was 16-3 with 21 saves and an ERA of 1.67. He finished 13th in 1969 and 12th in 1970 in MVP voting, and 7th in CYA voting in 1970. In both 1969 and 1970 he led the league in saves.

He was 79-74, 2.79 ERA+ 124 in his career, with 178 saves (162 g. average 7-7, 2.79, 16 saves).

In postseason play he went 0-1, 7.98 in ten games.